Excluding the higher functioning [autistic] children [from the autism diagnosis] means that schools will have to do more to make regular classrooms hospitable to them without the early intervention based accommodations mandated by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.
In particular, teachers will have to stop requiring children to work in groups, share personal reflections and do organizationally demanding interdisciplinary projects — all of which are challenging for the sort of child who, rightly or wrongly, has sometimes received a diagnosis of mild autism/Asperger.
The new American Reform Math is also problematic for this population, since it waters down the actual math and teaches it less systematically.
Philadelphia, Jan. 23, 2012
The writer is a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and the author of “Raising a Left-Brain Child in a Right-Brain World.”
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Katharine Beals in the Times